Gevo's jet fuel to be used in test flight flown on fuel derived from waste wood
Gevo has announced a breakthrough to its fermentation technology that will allow it to produce isobutanol from cellulosic feedstocks such as wood waste which can then be converted into Gevo's alcohol-to-jet fuel.
Gevo currently makes isobutanol from corn at its plant in Luverne, Minnesota, but its process has always had the flexibility to adapt to other feedstocks.
The patented Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology (GIFT) has now been adapted to convert the cellulosic sugars from wood intro renewable isobutanol. Gevo then uses its patented hydrocarbon technology to convert the cellulosic isobutanol into alcohol-to-jet-synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) fuel.
The company's cellulosic isobutanol production will be conducted at a demonstration facility in St. Joseph, Missouri, that the company jointly operates with ICM. The ATJ-SPK will be produced in Silsbee, Texas, at the demonstration facility the company operates with South Hampton Resources.
Gevo has previously announced the testing and use of its alcohol-to-jet fuel derived from its corn-based isobutanol in conjunction with major airline partners and the US military.
Gevo is a member of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) and is providing the organization with technology to enable the commercial scale processing of cellulosic sugars from wood waste into valuable products. The cellulosic jet fuel made using Gevo's technologies will be used in a 1,000 gallon renewable fuel demonstration test flight. The isobutanol and ATJ-SPK technologies are both planned to be licensed by NARA as part of this project.
"There are significant economic and environmental benefits of renewable jet fuel,' says Pat Gruber, CEO of Gevo. 'The next two milestones for renewable jet fuel are the approval by ASTM and the scheduled commercial test flights. Our team is actively engaged in both of these activities.'
NARA is a five-year project supported by the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and is comprised of 22 member organisations from industry, academia and government laboratories. Its mission is to facilitate development of biojet and bioproduct industries in the Pacific Northwest using forest residuals that would otherwise become waste products. A key task of the project is to evaluate the economic, environmental and societal benefits and impacts associated with such developments.